Make Mine

Make Mine…Cozy Mystery

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A subgenre of crime fiction and mystery, cozy mysteries are for those readers who like the puzzle deciphering aspect of solving a crime, but not necessarily violence, profanity, or sex, which can be present in grittier mysteries and thrillers.

This genre is extremely popular in series, with readers being able to follow one amateur sleuth’s adventures over a long period of time.  The sleuth themselves is often an educated woman, and they tend to solve crimes in small, close-knit communities.

If cozies appeal to you, the following authors tend to write in this popular genre:

Catherine Aird
Susan Wittig Albert
Nancy Atherton
Robert Barnard
Stephanie Barron
M.C. Beaton
Laurien Berenson
Rhys Bowen
Lillian Jackson Braun
Simon Brett
Emily Brightwell
Rita Mae Brown
Laura Childs
Jill Churchill
Mary Daheim
Diane Mott Davidson
Aaron Elkins
Joanne Fluke
Anthea Fraser
Dorothy Gilman
Carolyn Hart
Joan Hess
Georgette Heyer
Sharon Kahn
Laurie R. King
Kate Kingsbury
Alexander McCall Smith
Sharyn McCrumb
Charlotte MacLeod
Tamar Myers
Katherine Hall Page
Elizabeth Peters
Ellis Peters
Nancy Pickard
Dorothy Sayers
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Book Club

The After Party – Books and Bagels and Morning Book Break – Nov. 2016

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Books and Bagels and Morning Book Break Book Discussions on The Swans of Fifth Avenue

Rating:  In Books and Bagels, the book received ratings between 2.5  and 4.0. The average rating was 3.5.  In Morning Book Break, this novel received a variety of scores between -1.0 and 4.0.  The average rating was 3.0.

Review:  The novel was selected as part of a two-month combination study.  The Swans of Fifth Avenue was selected to provide insight into the life of the literary genius, Truman Capote. In December, the book clubs will read In Cold Blood, Capote’s non-fiction masterpiece. Capote is often credited as establishing the true-crime genre.  Next month, the clubs will discuss whether reading The Swans of Fifth Avenue offered any insight into Truman Capote’s literary rise and fall. We will discuss whether members appreciated reading The Swans of Fifth Avenue in combination with In Cold Blood.

Most members in both groups felt the high society life displayed in the novel was nothing like the life most Americans live. The groups found the characters to be superficial, pretentious and deeply flawed. Most members could not identify with these characters and for that matter, did not want to.

However, club members did enjoy the group discussions and many enjoyed reminiscing about this period of time.

Discussion Highlights – Morning Book Break

  • Most members found the book to be an easy, somewhat entertaining read, but most members did not find it to be a compelling novel.
  • Many members cared very little about the characters. They found the characters to be shallow and they did not admire them. Members found the characters to be deeply flawed and members were grateful for their own lives.
  • Several members struggled to complete the book and some even skimmed over sections.
  • Many members were disappointed with Melanie Benjamin’s repetitive writing style. They were surprised they disliked this book because they had thoroughly enjoyed a previous club selection, The Aviator’s Wife, by the same author, which had received ratings between 4.0 and 5.0 with an average rating of 4.5.

Discussion Highlights – Books and Bagels

  • Most members did not connect with the characters and in fact, they did not find any of the characters to be sympathetic.
  • A few members felt the novel provided a thought-provoking glimpse into Truman Capote’s literary genius.
  • Members were not surprised that Truman Capote betrayed his friends by writing “La Cote, Basque 1965”.
  • Several members thought Melanie Benjamin was masterful in evoking powerful images in two particular scenes:
    1. Truman’s gentle removal of Babe’s makeup—revealing her true self for the first time.
    2. William Paley’s one-night stand cover-up.

Resources:

http://melaniebenjamin.com/

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Truman Capote and Babe Paley
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William and Babe Paley with Truman Capote at their house in Round Hill, Jamaica

Read-a-Likes:

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Make Mine

Make Mine…Inspirational and Biblical Fiction

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If you enjoy tales of people overcoming obstacles to find happiness and fulfillment, whether these people are assisted by a higher power or not, then you might like Inspirational Fiction.

Sometimes known as Christian Fiction, this genre nonetheless does not have to have religious overtones.  In Biblical fiction, Biblical characters are used as the main focus, and the stories are often retellings of what is contained in the Bible from a perspective of faith, but anyone can enjoy the stories of their lives.

If you want to read some of these tales of inspiration, the following authors tend to write in these genres:

Tamera Alexander
ReShonda Tate Billingsley
Terri Blackstock
Wanda E. Brunstetter
Melody Carlson
Vannetta Chapman
Mindy Starns Clark
Amy Clipston
Lori Copeland
Ted Dekker
Richard Paul Evans
Joseph Girzone
Andrew Greeley
Philip Gulley
Robin Jones Gunn
Rene Gutteridge
Robin Lee Hatcher
Kristen Heitzmann
Liz Curtis Higgs
J. Lynne Hinton
Angela Elwell Hunt
Denise Hunter
Neta Jackson
Jan Karon
Karen Kingsbury
Jane Kirkpatrick
Tim LaHaye
Maureen Lang
Beverly Lewis
Susan Meissner
Janette Oke
Catherine Palmer
Tracie Peterson
Francine Rivers
Gayle Roper
Lisa Samson
Gary Smalley
Penelope Stokes
Ann Tatlock
Brock and Bodie Thoene
Donna VanLiere
Dan Walsh
Susan May Warren
Jan Watson
Lori Wick
Lisa Wingate
Geoffrey Wood
Displays

November Displays

Every month, Reader’s Advisory puts out different displays in the area surrounding our desk.  For us, it’s a fun way to tie in the materials we love to the specific month or season!  Anything that is on the cubes can be checked out, just like anything else in the library!

For the month of November, there are several different exciting displays to choose from.

“Honoring Our Veterans,” located on the left book cube, is fiction and movies about those who serve or have served in the armed forces.

“Love Books? Write One!,” located on the center book cube, is a display focusing on November as National Novel Writing Month.  It is a mix of books that started as NaNoWriMo projects and books about writing and authors.  If you’re interesting in National Novel Writing Month, you can get more information at http://nanowrimo.org/

“Class of…,” located on the CD display cube, is music from different eras.  Currently the classes of 1976, 1986, 1996, and 2006 are represented on each side of the cube.

“Reading, the Best Only Game in Town: Book Selections from This Year’s Book Lover’s Day,” located on our corner display, is books from 2016’s Book Lover’s Day, as well as previous years.  Check out the accompanying Billboard slideshow!

The fiction film wall contains “Favorite Movies About Games and Sports,” those films that take place in the world of sporting competitions.  The nonfiction film wall is “How to Excel at Playing Them,” which features documentaries, how-tos, and films about playing different sports and games.

Our Teen display this month is “A Pinch of This, a Dash of That,” a fun combination of genre reads.

Check out the slideshow below for photos of each of these displays.
We encourage you to come in and check out these displays for yourself; you can always take something home!

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Make Mine

Make Mine…a Western

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Though some may say its heyday has past, the Western genre is still alive and well, spinning tales of cowboys and gunfighters, Native Americans and marshals, and the other rough and tumble characters that populated the old West.

If you’re hankering for some historical adventure where the good guys win, the following authors tend to write in this genre:

Johnny D. Boggs
Frank Bonham
Terrell L. Bowers
Max Brand
Willa Cather
Don Coldsmith
Loren D. Estleman
Zane Grey
Tony Hillerman
Steve Hockensmith
Elmer Kelton
Louis L’Amour
Al and Joanna Lacy
Elmore Leonard
Larry McMurtry
Nelson Nye
Wayne D. Overholser
Lewis B. Patten
Robert B. Parker
Charles Portis
Dana Fuller Ross
Jack Schaefer
Glendon Fred Swarthout
Dale L. Walker
Richard S. Wheeler
Make Mine

Make Mine…Science Fiction

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Like its sister genre fantasy, science fiction falls in the broader genre known as speculative fiction.  Unlike fantasy, science fiction deals with the impact actual or imagined science has on society, oftentimes set in the future.  A knowledge of scientific principles isn’t required to enjoy science fiction, but an speculative, open mind can be a great help.

If science fiction intrigues you, the following authors tend to write in this genre:

Douglas Adams
Isaac Asimov
Ray Bradbury
Ben Bova
Lois McMaster Bujold
Orson Scott Card
C.J. Cherryh
Arthur C. Clarke
James S.A. Corey
Phillip K. Dick
Cory Doctorow
Harlan Ellison
Carol Emshwiller
Phillip Jose Farmer
William Gibson
Peter F. Hamilton
Harry Harrison
Robert A. Heinlein
Frank Herbert
James Patrick Kelly
Nancy Kress
Ursula K. Le Guin
Fritz Leiber
Stanislaw Lem
Larry Niven
Frederik Pohl
Kim Stanley Robinson
John Scalzi
Robert Silverberg
E.E. Smith
Jules Verne
H.G. Wells
Gene Wolfe
Book Club

The After Party – Books and Bagels and Morning Book Break – Oct. 2016

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Books and Bagels and Morning Book Break Book Discussions on The Book of Unknown Americans

Rating: In Books and Bagels, most members rated the book between a 3.0 and 4.0, with the median score of 3.5.

In Morning Book Break, this book received ratings from 2.0 to 5.0, with the median score of 3.75.

Review: The discussion in Books and Bagels was multi-faceted. Several members really enjoyed the novel and plan to read additional material by Cristina Henriquez. Some members felt the novel was lacking in many aspects.

In Morning Book Break, members mostly appreciated the content (pertaining to the immigrant experience), but thought the prose was lacking.

Both groups thought Suburban Mosaic accomplished its mission by selecting this novel as the adult title for the 2015-2016 Book of the Year.  The Suburban Mosaic’s mission is to foster cultural understanding through literature.

Discussion Highlights – Morning Book Break:

  • Several members thought the novel would be a wonderful addition to high school or possibly middle school curriculum.
  • The club discussed US immigration and assimilation throughout their lifetimes.
  • Many members disliked the disjointed structure and felt these stories and characters to be underdeveloped.

Discussion Highlights – Books and Bagels

  • Many members were disappointed with the structure of the novel. They found the prose to be better suited to a young adult reader.
  • All members found it an extremely easy, fast read.
  • Some members felt they learned a lot about the current immigration experience, while other members thought the book did not add any new information to their repertoire of knowledge about immigration.

Resources: http://www.cristinahenriquez.com/

http://www.suburbanmosaicbooks.org/suburban-mosaic-book-of-the-year-past-selections#2015

Read-a-Likes:

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